The Printing Press

Features  Survey Says | Announcements | Mellinger Tutoring Hours

  The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact, or





In This Issue:

Back in Black

by: Fannetta Jones

       When the month of February comes around, there are, inevitably, a few things that come to mind: Lincoln’s Birthday, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and, of course, Black History Month. We always try to take this time and acknowledge the contributions of African Americans to our country and this year is no different. However, there are always certain individuals that are celebrated or that “come to mind.” So, with that said, here are a few individuals that have made major contributions to literature as we know it, but that you may not know too much about:

Charles Chesnutt (1858- 1932)

      Upon viewing Charles Chesnutt, he is not an individual that anyone would typically associate with African-American literature. However, in being born of slave ancestry, this author writes of living a life on the color line and what it is like growing up and trying to find identity in the midst of racial turmoil. This author also served on the General Committee for NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) as well as working with the likes of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Chesnutt was much respected in his lifetime and his works are still studied in many literature classes from high school through graduate studies. Some of his more popular short stories include “The Wife of His Youth” and “The Goophered Grapevine.”

Zora Neale Hurston (1891- 1960)

      While mostly known for her novel Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston was an anthropologist and a storyteller. As evident in Their Eyes, Hurston was very committed to chronicling the African American experience as “true to life” as possible. This led to her use of dialect and colloquial language throughout many of her texts. Another of her more famous books is Mules and Men. Hurston wrote many works through the Harlem Renaissance as well. Despite her fame, Hurston suffered much financial burden and died of a stroke in a welfare home. She was buried in an unmarked grave until given a “proper” burial by Alice Walker.        


James Weldon Johnson (1871- 1938)

      James Weldon Johnson was a lawyer, politician, and a civil rights activist, but he was most known for his writing. His works were highly celebrated and regarded through the Harlem Renaissance and he was a well respected individual. Although he is well known for his book The Autobiography of an Ex- Colored Man, one piece of literature that he is most known for, is his poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing," which was later turned into a song and became the Black National Anthem.


Toni Morrison (1931 - )

      When it comes to writers that have transcended racial barriers with their works, Toni Morrison should be at the top of the list. Her literature has been revered and studied by people of various ages and races. In addition to this, at the age of 79, Morrison is still producing great works and even released a new book as recently as last year, titled A Mercy.  She is well versed in the works of others as well, having written a thesis on suicide in the works of William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf. She has many great works such as Beloved, Song of Solomon, and Sula. If these works weren’t enough to get her the proper acclaim, she was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

A Living Evolving Creature: The English Language from the Perspective of a Foreign Exchange Student

by: Alex Nall


In the past few issues of The Printing Press, we have explored the English major from the country roads of North Henderson to the urban cityscape of Chicago. Now, in our third and final installment in this series, we interview an English major from a foreign country. The man I interviewed is not only new to the college campus lifestyle, but to another part of the world as well.

Carlos Ernesto Mora Sandi arrives to us from San Jose, Costa Rica. He is twenty-seven-years-old and is visiting the United States for the first time in his life. He is an English major and says that Monmouth College has “exceeded my expectations”. When I asked Carlos why he came to this country to pursue a degree in English, he told me: “I have always wanted to do the foreign exchange program and found the opportunity to do it in the United States very easily. I got a full scholarship and have been taking advantage of every opportunity here”. When asked why he chose to English to be his field of study, considering he’s only been speaking it since he arrived here in Mid-August, Carlos had this to say: “I have been around the language all my life. I have heard English through music, movies and from my uncle, who spoke it fluently, so I knew how to speak it when I came here.” This background made English the easiest subject for him to study. “Once I started studying it, I immediately loved it.” Carlos says that he is still unsure of what he wants to do with a master degree in English but has said that he has shown interest in taking his knowledge of English back to his hometown and using it to teach, translate or help with web-page designs into English: “There is a high demand for the English language in my country, and if I help my country by using the knowledge I have learned here then I will be satisfied.”

Carlos has also shown an interest in jazz music since he arrived in the States, saying that the people who play in the parks of New York City is one of his favorite memories here. “When I was in New York City, I felt like I was home. It is such a big place.” Since he arrived here, Carlos has also visited Kansas City and St. Louis. His favorite book is A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but he also read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and said that the description of fish in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea made him salivate for a fresh seafood meal.

The last question I asked Carlos dealt with how important language was to him in his new environment and what he thought he and his fellow English-majors could learn from it in the twenty-first century. He thought for a moment and then said, “I believe that language is a living creature. It is in constant evolution and people need to learn other languages. If they do this, they will be able to experience new things and learn from other cultures."                                  

            A Year to Remember: 1859

          by: Noelle Templeton

     1859 was a significant year for the world.  Billy the Kid was born, Alexis de Tocqueville died, Londoners heard Big Ben’s first chimes, and Oregon joined the Union.  Dickens published
A Tale of Two Cities, and as we all know, Darwin’s Origin of the Species was released as well, but the Darwinpalooza event held on Thursday, February 18, concentrated on three other works that were published that year.  Students, faculty, and staff crowded into the Highlander Room to see Professors Simon Cordery, Rob Hale, and Dick Johnston present three different pieces of literature and their significance in 1859.

Associate Professor of History Simon Cordery began the discussion by explaining the world in 1859 was transitioning from the early to the mid-Victorian era.  He briefly addressed the political and technological advancements taking place that year before drawing our attention to an important literary work:  Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help.  Smiles, who also worked as a doctor, newspaper editor, and secretary for the railways, used his book to encourage individualistic behavior and the development of character, two important features during the rise of labor unions and the Industrial Revolution.

Next to address the crowd was our very own Rob Hale; he began with a review and then plot summary of George Eliot’s Adam Bede, also known as the “Masterpiece of the Century.”  Bede, a story of unrequited love, class disparity, and tragedy, represents three dominant virtues from the highlighted year:  realism, morality, and freedom.  Like Smiles, Eliot wrote of individual freedom and secular, rather than religious, morality.

Last to take the podium was Dick Johnston, Associate Professor of Political Economy and Commerce.  His explication of On Liberty by John Stuart Mill included similar themes highlighted by the previous two speakers, namely freedom, individuality, and morality.  Mill encouraged expressing opinions, challenging the status quo, and learning from one’s mistakes. 

Darwin and his contemporary shared values and practices, as Professor Hale identified.  All four writers were interested in close observation, embraced secular morality, practiced free-thinking skepticism while encouraging individualism, and despite interacting in elite, intellectual circles, they had a common interest in the disadvantaged.  Even 151 years after the publication of their works, the ideas of Smiles, Eliot, Mill, and Darwin are strongly influential.



"Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure." 
(Charlotte Bronte’s Villette) –Rob Hale

"This here the colored matron Brandy and her friends call her Thudnerbuns. She do not play. She do not smile. So we shut up and watch the simple ass picture." - (Toni Cade Bambara's Gorilla, My Love) –Danny Weber

“Experience was of no ethical value.  It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes” (Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray) -Noelle Templeton


"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see."
( John Grogan Marley and Me) -Rissa Inman

     "I must have kept backing up. I don't remember doing it; I just remember thinking that I was looking at the head of some grotesque monster from the outer darkness. And thinking that where there was one, there would be more. Eight stones would keep them captive--barely--but if there were only seven, they'd come flooding through from the darkness on the other side of reality and overwhelm the world. For all I knew, I was looking at the least and smallest of them. For all I knew, the flattened snakehead with the pink eyes and what looked like great long quills growing out of its snout was only a baby.


                       It saw me looking."

(In "N." by Stephen King, from his collection entitled Just After Sunset:) - Alex Nall

"Alack! why am I sent for to a king
Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
Wherewith I reign'd? I hardly yet have learn'd
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
To this submission. Yet I well remember
The favours of these men: were they not mine?
Did they not sometime cry 'All hail!' to me?
So Judas did to Christ: but he, in twelve,
Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none."

(Richard II, Act 4.1.166-75) -Fannetta Jones

Survey Says!!!!

What would you title your autobiography?

I Just Wanted a Place to Sit Down: How the English Major Led to My Career in Writing by Danny Weber

Going Rogue by Kayt Griffith

Oh wait...has that already been taken?? Darn.




What People Tell Me by: Alex Nall




It's "Soda"...not "Pop" by: Rissa Inman


Tales of Vests and Voodoo: My Entry into the English Major by: Fannetta Jones




  • Support your peers in the production of The Homecoming February 25-28 in the W.I.T. located in the basement of HT.  Tickets are only $4 for MC students, faculty, and staff.

  • Join Sulci Thursdays at 9pm in Mellinger Learning Center.

  • We welcome all submissions and suggestions, so feel to share your ideas.



Get back into the "Spring" of things!

Visit the Writing Center
MLC 3rd Floor

Tuesday 9-11am
Monday-Thursday 3-5pm
Sunday-Thursday 7-10pm

Fannetta Jones

Alex Nall

Noelle Templeton


Features | Survey Says | Announcements| Mellinger Tutoring Hours

The Printing Press
Monmouth College English Department
Copyright © 2003 - All Rights Reserved
Contact Us: